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Top 3 Things To Know - Moving Your Office Out Of Home

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Top 3 things to know when up-sizing, 

downsizing or moving your OFFICE out of home:  

Benefit from our experience & ask yourself these 3 questions.... 

What does your current office say about your business? 

Home Based
Do you meet with clients at home & does this work to your favour?
  • Pros - Some industry types benefit from displaying their wares at home (architect, builder, interior designer) & others can benefit from the added level of connection with a client through the intimacy of a home based meeting.
  • Cons - Balancing family, school holidays, pets at home, untidy living areas & displaying your personal life to clients can appear unprofessional & at times inappropriate.
  • Suggestion - Could hiring occasional office space or meeting rooms benefit particular client types or suit specific meetings? 

Leased premise:  

  • Pros - A professional premise has the benefit of impressing clients, presenting a professional image & demonstrating that you are an established industry expert.  It also displays to employees that they are part of a professional business culture.
  • Cons - A large, professional office can display the impression that your business services are expensive & the big question to consider: Is your office more about your ego than your business? 

Is your business operating at optimum productivity?

Home Based
  • Pros - On the positive, working from home doesn't have fixed operating hours meaning that you can work through the night & bunker down to get those important projects completed.
  • Cons - Household duties, partner expectations, isolation & apathy are often associated with working from home. Procrastination & juggling home duties are massive challenges for home based businesses & are a difficult area to quantify in terms of lost productivity.
  • Suggestion - Consider working from a professional office for even one day per week to break up the routine. Dressing professionally, chatting with colleagues & having dedicated work space for one day per week may be all you need to increase your productivity, business presence & self esteem? 

Leased premise:
Is your business premise a distraction to your team or central to your businesses culture?

  • Pros - Having a professional premise for your business is great for aligning staff values, implementing overall objectives & getting the most out of your team. It enables you to supervise your staff & create a great business culture. 
  • Cons - Office chatter, non-essential employees, expensive overheads & office upkeep tasks can detract from your core business & ultimately affect the bottom line. 
  • Suggestion -  Consider whether all of your team members need to be in the office 100% of the time?  Is there an opportunity for desk sharing?  Are your team paying too much attention to the presentation & confectionery supplies within your office rather than focusing on their role?  Can these duties be outsourced?

       Does your office premise have a direct correlation with your businesses profits?

Home based:  
Contrary to common perception there is a real cost associated with having a business at home.  These include electricity, internet, suitable home insurance for working from home, public liability insurance for your clients visiting your home, plus consideration of council permits to enable your business to legally operate from your home.

  • Pros - As far as fixed priced overheads go, working from home is the cheapest solution for your business which is why it is a firm favourite for most start up businesses.
  • Cons - The negative effect of productivity & business image is difficult to measure & is often neglected by most business owners in their assessment of working from home.
  • Suggestion - Once you are out of the start up phase, ask yourself how many more clients would you need or how many more projects could you take on to pay for a professional office for your business?  Could securing yourself a professional office within a shared or serviced office actually lead to increased leads & greater business exposure.  Consider how it would feel to go to your office each day, connecting with other businesses & focusing on your business 100%

Leased premise:  
Have you conducted a feasibility for your office premise in terms of profit & loss?
If not, start by assessing the actual overhead cost of each m2 of your office premise.  Then calculate how many square metres within your business are directly attributed to securing new business, how many square metres are utilised to service your business & what is the remaining square meterage?  Based on your profit from an average dollar sale, how many sales are required to service your premise.

  • Pros - If your business is reliant directly on walk in clients, high customer conversion rate & high productivity levels, you will find that your yield of square meterage to profitability is realistic & easily achievable. It may pay to consider whether expanding your premise or relocating to a more prominent location may relate to an increase in profits?
  • Cons - If the overhead figure seems unrealistic in terms of business sales, could you downsize your premise or consider shared or serviced office options to decrease your floor plate to accommodate only essential square meterage?
  • Suggestion - Shared & serviced office options usually include a level of staff outsourcing in the form of a reception team, call answering & administrative duties. 
Therefore taking into consideration your businesses image, productivity & profitability, what is the best office choice for your business right now, in 6 month time & in 12 months time as your business expands?


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